​It is Tuesday and we have a small 3-game slate on the schedule for today in the Association. Hopefully, everyone made off well after last night’s big 11-game slate! Onto today, we have a couple decent totals on these games, and one that sticks out as a potential game stack. Without further ado, let’s get down to it!

ATLANTA HAWKS @ MIAMI HEAT (MIA -8, TOTAL: 223)

For this small 3-gamer, this is the highest total on the board and for good reason. Atlanta comes in on the second set of a back-to-back after taking a two point, heart-breaking loss at home to the Sixers last night. This could potentially be why the Heat are favored by 8 points tonight, as the heat are fresh after a day off, and by the looks of it, are getting their star player back in Jimmy Butler. With Jimmy Butler making his return, and season debut, this will likely send starting SG Tyler Herro back to the bench, while Jimmy slots in at the SG spot. In Sunday night’s game, the Heat started Nunn, Herro, Winslow, Meyers Leonard, and Bam Adebayo. With the Hawks typically going smaller in a lot of sets with John Collins at the 4, I would imagine that the heat may elect to start Kelly Olynyk at the PF spot, we shall see. It is worth noting, however, only somewhat effects the Hawks, is that both teams are playing their 3rd game in 5 days, but this is the 2nd set of the back-to-back for the Hawks, who had Sunday off. The Heat played a back-to-back set on Saturday and Sunday, and had yesterday off, so of course, they have had a day of rest. Also, funnily enough, both team’s next games are once again facing each other on Wednesday after a day of rest for both, BUT this one will be played in Atlanta. 

​So, let’s talk a minute about some statistics here for this game. The Heat come into tonight’s game with the fastest PACE in the league after three games at 109.53. The Hawks, interestingly enough, are 23rd in estimated PACE, and 4th in actual after their first 3 games after turning in the fastest PACE in the league last season. With this game being in MIA, I believe we will try to see Miami set the pace here, BUT does Jimmy Butler being in effect that pace? This is something we should be looking at, as this could play a factor down the road, as PACE is very important in DFS, as you want teams that play fast because fast play equals more shots, which equal more opportunities to gain stats (BTW, the Heat rank 2nd in total number of possessions at 116.7). A few other notables, the Heat are allowing the 2ndmost fantasy points to the SF spot so far on the season, and the Hawks are allowing the 3rd most to the Center spot. So, these two could mean something for both DeAndre Hunter, and Bam Adebayo. Another key stay here for Bam, the Heat are 5th in DREB%, while 3rd in REB% as a team, and we know Bam is a big part of this. On the flip side, the Hawks are 23rd in DREB%, AND 15th in REB%, so this could obviously be another edge for Bam, as the Hawks seemingly do not rebound well. Players to target tonight in this game:

HEAT– BAM ADEBAYOJimmy ButlerKendrick NunnJustise Winslow

Value: Goran DragicDuncan Robinson

HAWKS– Trae YoungDeAndre Hunter

Value: Bruno Fernando (back off ankle injury, played 16 mins last night, line- 11p, 4r, 2a, 2b, good for 23FP).

DALLAS MAVERICKS @ DENVER NUGGETS (DEN -6, TOTAL: 215)

Here we get a nice Western Conference clash in the altitude as the Nuggets travel back east homeward after playing the first leg of a back-to-back against the Kings in Sacramento last night. After winning last night’s game, the Nuggets move to 3-0 on the young season, and I think will get one of their toughest match ups yet tonight with the Mavericks. The Mavericks were my pick to be the most improved in the West this season, and with the addition to Kristaps and Delon Wright, this team looks really freaking good so far. Dallas sits at 2-1 at the current moment after facing a very tough 2-point loss at home vs the TrailBlazers on Sunday. For purposes of looking at upcoming schedules to see where these teams go after tonight’s game, I thought it was interesting that both teams will receive a couple of days off before their next game. Denver travels to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans on Thursday, and the Mavericks will return home and have 3 days off before hosting the Lakers on Friday. This could give some extra added effort by the Mavs after the 2-point loss on Sunday to a conference foe in the Blazers, while knowing they will get a whole 3 days off after tonight’s game. 

​So, let’s talk a minute about the statistics for this game. First off, it is highly worth noting that the total of this game is the lowest of the three games, and it has already dropped a point since I began writing this article. We look at why? That’s a good question, and I believe I know a big part of it. Both teams are not PACE-up teams. Dallas ranks 12th in the league at the current moment in PACE, and the Nuggets…They rank DEAD LAST.Both teams also rank in the latter half of the league in total number of possessions with Dallas ranking 14th at 107.9, and Denver ranking 22nd at 104.9. To sum this up, both teams aren’t exactly transition teams, they play more half-court sets, and they want to run their offenses, thus slowing the game down a bit. Obviously, this has worked out well for Denver (Note: Den ranks 25th in the league in fast-break points percentage to further elaborate) as they are undefeated so far, but again, only POR has been their toughest game so far. One little key stat that could, or could not play into tonight’s game is that Dallas is allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to the SG spot, so this could play well into Gary Harris, and a value play being Malik Beasley. One other statistic I wanted to point out, Denver ranks 5th in OREB%, and this is largely in part to Nikola Jokic, as he has 10 in three games (making up the larger portion of his REBs). Also, Will Barton (had 4 last night) now has 5 in those same three games. Just some food for thought.

MAVERICKS– Kristaps Porzingis, Luka Doncic (The usage is totally dominated by these two)

Value: Jalen BrunsonMaxi Kleber

NUGGETS Nikola JokicWill Barton

Value: Gary HarrisMalik BeasleyJerami Grant

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES @ LOS ANGELES LAKERS (LAL -12 TOTAL: 219)

The Grizzlies are likely riding a high as they were able to pull of the OT thriller against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday where Jae Crowder hit a game-winning three-point shot as time expired. Ja Morant had his best game yet as a rookie, putting up a massive 30 points, 4 boards, 9 dimes line with also a steal and a swat. It was the Kyrie vs Ja show, and it did NOT disappoint. Tonight, the Grizz get to take on LBJ, AD and the lake-show in Los Angeles. For schedule purposes, it was noteworthy that after tonight’s game, the Grizzlies will have a 3-day rest before hosting the Suns back at home. The Lakers will be off until Friday when they travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks. Lakers are sitting at 2-1 with their only loss coming at the hands of the LA Clippers in game one of the season, and the Grizzlies were able to notch their first win of the season against the Nets, sitting their record at 1-2. We know the Grizzlies are a very young team, and they are having a full youth movement (beyond JaeCrowder), but they have a very exciting team, as they rank 2nd in terms of PACE for the season so far. The Lakers are right in front of the Nuggets in terms of PACE, and rank 2nd to LAST. It is noteworthy, that the Grizz rank 4th in the league in total number of possessions at 115.2, while the Lakers rank once again, 2nd to last at 100.9 per game. I believe that the gap here will mitigate the slow pace for the Lakers, and we could see this game get into a shootout, very, very quickly. The Grizzlies will push the tempo, and I believe this will create some extra transitions for the Lakers, so I believe this is going to be the game you want to target for a game stack tonight.

​So, let’s look at some statistics for the game. We already discussed the PACE and total number of possessions, in which we may look to play more Grizzlies since they want to push the pace. Memphis ranks 22nd in REB%, of course this plays well into LBJ, AD, and even Dwight Howard, obviously it would be smart to pick the option that doesn’t have to face Jonas Valanciunas, and he is a monster of a man and eats boards for breakfast (Obviously we are going to look at AD). For the fact that the Grizz only play him 18 minutes a game (mins restriction getting closer to being raised), I believe this could make Dwight Howard a nice value play, as he will likely see more of the Jaren Jackson/Brandon Clarke at the 5 part of the rotation. One other note to remember is that the Grizzlies are allowing the MOST fantasy points to the PG spot so far, this season, so this obviously helps LBJ, BUT if Rondo happens to play (which need to remind he hasn’t played this season and has a mild calf strain), he could turn into decent value if we get a min’s reportbefore tip. IF he does not play, this could benefit Quinn Cook and make him a decent value play tonight.

GRIZZLIES– Ja MorantJaren Jackson Jr., Jonas Valanciunas

Value: Brandon ClarkeJae CrowderDillion BrooksSolomon Hill (monitor the status of Kyle Anderson!)

LAKERS– LeBron JamesAnthony Davis

Value: Dwight HowardDanny GreenQuinn Cook